Forskargruppe for rettskultur

Proving Guilt: The Developments of Guilt Assessment in Homicide Cases from Nordhordland, Sunnhordland, Hardanger, and Voss during the Period 1642-1800 and Its Connection to Changes in the Court´s Approach to Evidence.

The development of a differentiated evaluation of guilt in the murder, and suicide cases in the regions of Nordhordland, Sunnhordland, Hardanger and Voss from 1642 to 1800.

Foto av debbyhudson på Unsplash


Doktorgradsstipendiat Aurora Laugerud skal den 06. mars 2024 holde en presentasjon om den empiriske metoden hun bruker i sitt doktorgradsprosjekt. Presentasjonen holdes i regi av Forskergruppen for rett, filosofi og psykisk helse og vil foregå på engelsk. Det skal serveres en lett lunsj. Påmelding sendes til msj012@uib.no innen 29. februar.


The doctoral thesis aims to investigate developments in the evaluation of guilt in the murder and suicide trials from 1642 to 1800. The analyses are based on a theory that the potential for change in the evaluation of guilt depends on developments in the approach to evidence. The overarching theme of the thesis, grounded in this theory, explores the transition from an undifferentiated evaluation of guilt with a magical or religious approach to the assessment of evidence, to a differentiated evaluation of guilt with a theoretical approach to the assessment of evidence. This transition, along with the relationship to legislative changes and the emergence of Danish-Norwegian legal scholarship towards the end of the 1700s, will be analyzed through the project’s overarching research question: How did changes in homicide legislation’s connection to magical and religious notions, and the emergence of legal scholarship, influence the evaluation of the perpetrator’s guilt in murder cases from Nordhordland, Sunnhordland, Hardanger, and Voss during the period between 1642 and 1800? The methodological approach to the project is predominantly empirical, involving digital searches in transcribed court records to identify the cases upon which the thesis’s qualitative and quantitative analyses are built.

The presentation for the research group will focus on the empirical method of the thesis, along with examples from the qualitative and quantitative analyses concerning some of the suicide cases discovered.